Monday, January 11, 2010

Which team was better: the '92 or the '93 Blue Jays?


By

Image courtesy of TSN.ca
They were two teams that will remain forever ingrained in the minds of Blue Jays fans. Whenever you mention the '92 or the '93 Toronto Blue Jays, no matter how old you are, a cavalcade of fond memories comes flooding back.

There's no disputing that the Blue Jays were the best teams in baseball during the 1992 and 1993 seasons, but have you ever wondered who would win in battle between both rosters?

Again, it's difficult to gauge just exactly which club was superior, but by evaluating each sector of the roster, I think I can effectively come to a conclusion about which team was the better of the two.

Starting rotation
Winner: 1992 Blue Jays

At 37 years old, Jack Morris wasn't exactly a spring chicken when he joined the Blue Jays, yet he ultimately accomplished what he was brought in to do: win games. Interestingly enough, sophomore Juan Guzman actually had better numbers than highly paid counterpart in Morris.

The '92 Blue Jays relied on seven starters throughout the season, and the well-rounded rotation served well throughout the season and into the playoffs.

Starting lineup

Winner: 1993 Blue Jays

Ultimately in baseball, you need to score runs to win the game, and the 1993 Toronto Blue Jays did that with ease. With WAMCO out there game after game, runs were never at a premium and having the top three hitters in the league (Alomar, Olerud and Molitor) certainly helped the cause.

The 1993 Blue Jays were only ever completely shut out once during the regular season, and their team batting average was slightly higher (.279 to .263) and their run scored/earned runs differential was also slightly higher than the 1992 squad(1.253 to 1.244). Overall, it seemed like the 1993 Blue Jays could blow a game wide open at any given notice, even if their pitching staff wasn't as solid as the previous season.

The running game on the '93 roster was also much more active than the '92 roster. With the mid-season acquisition of Rickey Henderson,  the top half of the lineup was a constant threat to swipe bases - even 36 year old Paul Molitor helped contribute to the cause by stealing 36 bases.

Bullpen
Winner: Tie

This one was too close to call, so I decided to call it a draw. Of course, you can't mention the bullpen without thinking of Duane Ward. He was a workhorse during both seasons: in 1992 as the setup man for Tom Henke, and in 1993 as the closer.

Some might argue that the '92 Jays had the better bullpen, but I believe the supporting cast from the '93 bullpen which included Danny Cox, Mark Eichorn, and Al Leiter was just as good as the relievers from 1992.

Bench 
Winner: 1992 Blue Jays

In what was arguably the single most important pinch-hit in franchise history, Ed Sprague came off the bench and nailed a two-run home run off Braves closer Jeff Reardon to help the Blue Jays win game two of the World Series. The 1992 Blue Jays had a little more power on the bench, with Jeff Kent, Derek Bell and Pat Tabler at their disposal, and also could employ the running game if need be.

Overall 
Winner: 1992 Blue Jays

I've debated back and forth over this one and gone through countless algorithms and weighed the options, and my pick for the better team is the 1992 Toronto Blue Jays. Overall, I think they were a better all-around team, and they had all facets of the game covered from the starting rotation, all the way to the bullpen.

Before I wrote this post, my original vote was for the 1993 Blue Jays because of their superior offensive prowess. The Achillies heel of the '93 team though was the starting pitching. Most people forget that Jack Morris was even on the 40-man roster in 1993 because he pitched so bad, and when it came down to crunch time in the World Series, Dave Stewart was just awful.

The 1992 Blue Jays provided consistent results, and their success continued through into the playoffs and their players delivered when they needed them the most (Alomar in Game Four of the ALCS, Ed Sprague in Game Two of the World Series).

So, what do you think, which Blue Jays squad was better - the 1992 roster of the 1993 roster?

 

Which team was better?

 


9 comments:

  1. Great post, Ian. I'm going with the 93 Jays. Paul Molitor and that offence was just so fun to watch.

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  2. I'm going 1992, because there's nothing quite like the first time. Trenches!!!1

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  3. HLF, there's no denying that 1993 offense was spectacular. I just think if 92/93 went head to head, the 92 Jays pitching staff could hold the 93 offense at bay.

    And yes eyebleaf, the 1992 team gets bonus points for the trenches. If only we had photographic evidence of that!

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  4. I'm gonna have to say the 93 jays. Adding Molitor and Henderson didn't hurt at all

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  5. I'm with '92 for no other reason than I remember it better. Man that was awesome.

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  6. Colt, I would definitely say that the 1993 Jays made a bigger splash at the trade deadline. Acquiring Rickey Henderson helped solidify that lineup and bring even more speed to the top of the order.

    Mattt, strangely enough I remember the 93 Jays a little bit better but I sided with the 92 Jays. I tried not to let the feelings of joy from the Joe Carter HR cloud my judgment.

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  7. Great post, Ian. For some reason I've never considered comparing the two teams before...I guess in my head they're still the same thing.

    I've decided to go with '92 for one, arbitrary, reason. Kelly Gruber. I've spent most of my life thinking that he was one of my top 5 all time favourite Jays, even though when I really think about it I can barely even remember watching him play.

    I figure that there must have been some reason I loved him so much, even if I don't know what it is. I also figure that that reason must be good enough to tip the scales in favour of '92.

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  8. First - I think the runs/ERA ratios show how close these teams actually are (though my inclination is to go with the larger).

    My recollection was that Morris was not great in the '92 series (in response to the note about Stewart in '93) - i recall JM stating of the Braves something to the tune of "They're in trouble because I'm not pitching anymore".

    I'm going with the '93 Jays to take it in seven.

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  9. JMac, Gruber is far an away the best third baseman out of the two clubs. And how can we forget the phantom triple play that he was a part of? I will always remember him for that.

    QJays, the numbers were EXTREMELY close. In fact, their Pythag W/L record was the exact same: 91-71. You're right about Morris in the '92 World Series - he was 0-2 with a 8.44 ERA. Hard to believe he didn't even crack the 1993 playoff roster!

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